Commitment Before Love: Can That Work?
Dear Fearless Love,
My husband and I met online six months ago. We were very attracted to each other and we both knew we wanted marriage and a family. We got engaged two months after meeting and got married one month ago. It was on our wedding day that we told each other “I love you” for the first time.
I felt safe with John right from the start and trust him. We have lots of fun, share similar views on life, want the same goals and were raised in the same faith. We’ve been very intentional about getting to know each other and creating a strong partnership right from the beginning. We started trying to have a baby after the engagement and are very happy with my recent pregnancy. Some of our friends and family have criticized our decision of rushing into marriage and family. We believe we are ready and made a conscious decision to commit long-term to one another. Do you think we rushed in, or is there something to be said for two people knowing quickly they are right for each other?
~Jill and John
Dear Jill and John,
Congratulations on your marriage and your growing family. You’ve gone old-school: being intentional, placing commitment first, and then growing your relationship around that commitment. Too many modern couples feel they need to date and cohabitate for years before making a commitment. This does not take advantage of the cocktail of addictive love hormones that will enhance their commitment. When romantic love comes before commitment you can waste precious time on someone who ultimately does not want commitment or is waiting for perfection to take the plunge.
Commitment begins with a thought-out, serious choice to stay the course. It is one of the strengths behind arranged marriages, where getting to know each other and love develops after the wedding nuptials. Often these are more stable in the long run than love marriages. Like everything in life, in both types of marriages, there is work.
The following strengths are found in the power of your commitment:
- Empowers: changes your energy to “can do”
- Integrity: aligns how you think and behave accordingly
- Success: focus on long-term
- Clarity: creates strong, stable foundation for your relationship
- Security: “I choose you and I intend to keep choosing you”
- Validates: accepting of each other’s unlovable parts
- Changes: fear into faith
- Transforms: isolation, hurt and loneliness into connectedness
- Converts: concern into peace
- Prioritizes: you go the extra mile for each other
- Mindful: not taking each other for granted
- Refines: brings out the best in each other
- Lasting love: best opportunity for giving unconditional love a fighting chance
Andrea Miller author of Radical Acceptance discusses the secrets to happy lasting love and recommends that once you make the decision to love it should be followed by a commitment to practicing unconditional love in your relationship. I hope I have encouraged you to grow in love and in the power of the true commitment you both made to one another.
Miller, Andrea (2017), Radical Acceptance: The Secret to Happy Lasting Love: Atria Books, NY